Welcome to the August Edition of the JCS 2021! For those who are new, this showcase features content from various creators around the web, summarized up here for your convenience and enjoyment. Submissions were accepted primarily via Twitter, and include content created during the month of July.
A confession about this month’s showcase: I was scrambling a little to put it together, and received some help from a kind ghostwriter who refuses to be named. I won’t tell you which bits were written by them, but if you’ve been paying attention to this blog and maybe a few others, perhaps you’ll figure it out! ***Special prize if you can guess the number of posts that were ghost-written, out of the total of 39.
Let’s start off strong with Lita’s review of O Maidens in Your Savage Season! I feel like watching O Maidens is a “tag your high school self” experience, and Lita @ Lita Kino’s Anime Corner seems to agree. An intimate review of a “savage” show!
Next up, Fred @ This is My Place brings us some earnest commentary on the charms of Waiting in the Summer. Even if Fred isn’t giving it a 10/10, I gotta say I’m intrigued enough to add this one to my never-ending TBW.
Sometimes you just want to geek out about Haruhi. I get it, I’ve written about Haruhi in the past, it’s a fun time. I definitely agree that “Live Alive” is one of the best episodes, one that I might even consider to have pushed the show from good to great. From Endless Eight to what makes the characters iconic to what makes the show so remembered and revered, TakamakiJ @ TakamakiJoker Anime Reviews talks everything Haruhi. From Endless Eight to what makes the characters iconic to what makes the show so remembered and revered TakamakiJ @ TakamakiJoker Anime Reviews talks everything Haruhi. From Endless Eight to what makes the characters iconic to what makes the show so remembered and revered TakamakiJ @ TakamakiJoker Anime Reviews talks everything Haruhi. From, well you get the point. Read the review, it is pretty good.
Now this was a fun review to read. Many of the best reviews are the angry ones, and this review by Jack Scheibelein @ Animated Observations certainly fits the bill. I’ve always wondered why the Beastars manga circulate so well in the library, and while this post doesn’t exactly answer my question, it definitely made me even more curious.
Okay, Irina, not that I don’t like your normal-length reviews, but I loved this one. In very concise terms (and a dirty martini), Irina @ I Drink and Watch Anime tells you all you need to know about a yaoi short you’ve probably never heard of before. Now I feel like I need to watch this if just to learn the context of “Man-Taco Squeeze”…
Yet another classic that I haven’t seen, but I really enjoyed this review by Dewbond @ Shallow Dives in Anime. Dewbond considers Fruits Basket‘s cast through the lens of the “Bleach Problem,” and outlines some of the series’ most powerful themes. And how can I not link this lovely OP?
Masterpiece Anime Showcase: Gakkō Gurashi, Finding the Courage to Graduate and Reflections on an Understated Survival Series
I’ve heard plenty of good things about Gakko Gurashi, but InfiniteZenith @ The Infinite Zenith tackles it from a new and uniquely personal angle. Rich in images and observations, this post contains everything you need to know about the series, and would be great as a refresher for those who have seen it.
Before anything – it’s my first time visiting Cody Senpai @ Bakanow Anime Reviews and I love this website design! I am very curious what a “Hallmark-style slice of life anime” is like, and am inclined to watch this movie to find out. This is also the first time I’ve heard of an earlier live action adaptation, which is neat!
Deemed an anime of the year contender by Scott @ Mechanical Anime Reviews! Now, why haven’t I heard of this anime?? I know very little about the Godzilla franchise and its spin-offs, but I’m loving the vibrant character designs and Scott’s enthusiasm!
Pretty Boy Detective Club? Anime these days sure are transparent about what they’re about. I love the title of this post by Jessi Silver @ Season1Episode1 and their anecdotal approach to the review. I’m trying to decide how I feel about the anime’s art style based on the screenshots, but I’m liking Jessi’s takeaways, and would be curious to hear what everyone else thinks.
Anime Episode Discussions
Art of Anime @ Art of Anime brings us an enthusiastic review of the first episode of BEASTARS! Interesting, BEASTARS does seem to be a divisive sort of show. I know too little to comment, but I do quite enjoy the OP, and think “Legoshi” is a cool name. Even though I accidentally confuse it with “Legolas” sometimes.
This episode review title has the same insulting energy as calling LiSA’s “Gurenge” the No Game No Life OP (disclaimer: opinion not mine) and I love it. Yeah, a demonic overlord working to make ends meet sounds like a perfect recipe for anime comedy, but josefcd904 @ The Reviewer’s Corner advises us to just watch Devil is a Part-Timer. And I’ve seen very little of both but I think he’s perfectly right.
Crow @ Crow’s World of Anime is back with another one of his famous episode reviews, this one a recap of the high points of a particularly emotional episode of My Hero Academia. I think family dynamics is always a neat topic to discuss, especially in the context of big shounen series with large casts. Arguably more interesting the family matters in shoujo series a lot of the time.
Anyone hyped for the upcoming Komi-san anime? If not, maybe read this short post by Aria @ The Animanga Spellbook. I too have only read the first volume of Komi-san (Aria is probably ahead at this point), and find it rather charming! And do tell me if you agree with Aria’s dad that everyone is a bit introverted. I’m curious.
The “reincarnated as side character” trope still feels pretty new to me, and is probably one of my current favourites in animanga popcorn entertainment. Minty @ Black & Yellow Otaku Gamers reviews this webtoon with as much enthusiasm as her post title suggests. As an older sister, I am certainly at least intrigued!
Hold on, Minty, someone’s here to contest your new favourite! And the art for this one is really nice! kageyume @ Flower & Shadow brings us a review of another webtoon adaptation of a villainess story, and comes prepared to defend their bold claim. Does anyone know of any villainess stories where a bunch of reincarnated otome game villainesses have a showdown? At this rate, it feels like a logical next step, and now that I’ve put it into words, I’d kind of love to see that.
The manga is The Whole of Humanity has Gone Yuri Except for Me and one of the main characters is named “Lily,” how very explicit. This review by Al @ Al’s Anime Blog suggests to me that maybe those who didn’t like Otherside Picnic would appreciate this alternative for a cute yuri in an alternate universe filled with mysteries. But what do I know? Read Al’s post and the manga too, and let me know!
One can always count on Nabe @ Geek Nabe for both romance and webtoon recommendations, so I wouldn’t doubt her word here on titles that represent the best of both worlds! Also, I didn’t know Webtoons could have trailers – that was really cool. If you wish your life was a K-drama but the right oppa just aren’t showing up, trust Nabe and try out some of these!
It never hurts to get a solid rundown on what something is. I think the sheer fact that I look at the first image and ask “Why is Claude from Fire Emblem Three Houses a ninja?” proves that I am someone who could use the facts. Honestly, this is the kind of article I need – it’s in-depth but presents a lot of precise info that grips me about the concept of the show. The designs are unique and the fight between humans and demons with elemental powers involved is simple enough to get a grip on. I would like to understand more about what makes Fog Hill a more worthwhile watch, but with included additional reading and only 3 episodes out at the article’s publication, it seems that you can find the answer out if you really want to know. (Check out the post by Yu Alexius @ Yu Alexius!)
At this point, I’m regretting not making “powerful isekai’d ladies” its own section in the showcase. “Are there enough?” asks Karandi @ 100 Word Anime. Probably, but we can always use more.
I get a good idea of Jon Spencer’s thoughts on current shows from being on his Discord and playing AMQ, but as someone who has no time to follow most seasonal anime, I’m very glad this comprehensive post exists! Whether you know Jon Spencer @ Jon Spencer Reviews or not, some entries on this list might surprise you.
Lizzo @ Soulcial Dreamin’ Ent. put together a sweet list of their favourite anime podcasts. You might recognize some names from our own aniblogging community! Might be a good place for me to start getting into podcasts as well – could really help me get through those 3 hour commutes.
Matt Doyle @ Matt Doyle Media recommends an interesting VN title featuring yuri in a cyberpunk dystopia. The art looks beautifully unsettling and the colour palette is cool…but don’t let me start gushing about a VN I’ve never read. Matt writes better than me and can tell you all about the styles being referenced and the gameplay experience!
Another blog with a stunning layout! Teach me your secrets… The candies and chili peppers are such a nice touch. Oona Tempest @ Sweet & Spicy gives a wonderful overview of the otome game and its playable characters…of which there are 17! Whether I like an otome game depends entirely on whether there are good dandere characters, and this post makes me feel like I would indeed enjoy Ikemen Revolution…
Take control of Auk the shapeshifter, who has the ability to become a:
Seems like an interesting enough concept as basscape @ The Almighty Backlog sells us on why we should embark on this adventure. It is reassuring enough that the flight controls feel good, as that can be pretty awesome when done right but frustrating when very much not (screams in Superman 64). If flying around a texture-less indie platform adventure seems fun to you, this review will give you a more detailed recommendation as to why it is worth checking out.
Hand to hand combat is a staple of many fighters, but how many times is it ever hoof to hoof. Them’s Fightin’ Herds is, I believe, a My Little Pony fan project turned into its own unique IP. Fun fact: very cool of MLP showrunner Lauren Faust to help the game out by designing characters after Hasbro’s inevitable cease and desist. Frostilyte @ Frostilyte Writes gives a breakdown of the innovative and underappreciated combo trainer. It is a rather unique experiment if you take it seriously enough to lab out your skills, and it does seem very beneficial. Extra shout-out for the spotlight on Arizona, maybe the affinity for that state is showing, but a cool character to spotlight in the process.
A lot of people don’t know this, but my name does stand for gamer. Dungeon crawlers is an interesting genre that always seems destined to collect dust in my Steam library. What separates Dungeon of the Endless from Never Split the Party, Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon and other dungeon crawls? Well, Magi @ Indiecator actually does an extensive job telling you all the bells and whistles of this unique indie game, from a food leveling up mechanic, to unique monster spawning. It seems like a enjoyable learning curve to experience solo or with friends, and definitely is a good pitch to consider picking this one up.
Rose @ Wretched and Divine has a type, and good for her. I say that as an Orochimaru simp, so clearly I don’t think Rose’s preferences need justifying, but for those who do, this post says it all.
Need some redemption after sexy villains robbed you of your moral compass? Theology on top of anime is a way to nerd out and I appreciate this blog for that. I’m afraid I know neither enough about Little Witch Academia nor Pope St. Pius V, but I’m very impressed this post by Traditional Catholic Weeb @ The Traditional Catholic Weeb exists and am excited to share it so that someone else can be too.
Love, love, love this post by iniksbane @ In Search of Number Nine! I’ll make the embarrassing admission that I don’t actually know who John Wayne is (maybe not quite as bad as getting Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan mixed up, which…can’t be me), but this theory is very cool and should totally be a thing. I learned a lot of new theories from reading this post, and I hope you will too.
Shounen Flop (ft. Max) is here to review a manga with…quite a premise! This fast-paced podcast is a fun listen for anyone, regardless of whether you read much manga. If you do though, be sure to check out i tell c! Or go read Chainsawman.
Caution, there be dragons. Relic of the Past is a fun group of DnD players who are gracious enough to let us sit in on their sessions. It seems like a good balance of letting every member contribute and having the experience to keep the scenario moving, and still having moments of humor and levity that every good campaign should have. It’s a fun time, a campaign could be sort of a commitment, and it can be tough to keep when you’re not the one playing, but it is a fun time they seem to be having. Check it out for an enjoyable fantasy adventure coming together, playing together.
Art and Original Content
I love fantasy world maps, and Egghead Luna‘s worldbuilding is top tier! It’s also the first time I’ve seen such a map done in an MS Paint style. I love the locational setting, premise, and the naming of everything. In particular, I’d love to learn more about Agnais Agartha.
This one by MIB @ MIB’s Instant Headache is very neat, especially for me, I consider me somewhat of a graphic artist myself. I would say it turned out pretty darn cool to see this mock-up of a Zombie Slayer render. Especially love getting to see it from the assets used and figuring out how they all fit into the final product. It’s a design that feels reminiscent of older video game box art, and I would praise a lot of the detailing. Obviously, creating this glow around the blade draws it as a strong focus point, but the lighting and layering of the composition is just really sweet. I would like to see more edits because even I could learn a thing or two from such gnarly art.
Emily H tackles a challenging perspective in this WIP of what appears to be a trio of likable OCs (correct me if I’m wrong!). I hope this sketch gets finished soon if you’re still working on it, Emily, and until then, check out Emily’s washi tape from their shop!
You know, I secretly respect those people who take cardboard waifus and husbandos out to prom. As Lauren @ Black & Yellow Otaku Gamers writes, “There is no wrong way to love your waifu.” Tobyn Jacobs’s larger-than-life waifus are on another level of impressiveness, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his story. Good job, Lauren!
Ever wondered what an online anime con is like? From this post by Emiko @ Ramblings N’ Scribbles, it sounds like much of the hype is still in tact. Be it musical performances by anisong giants or panels featuring beloved anime franchises, Aniplex Online Fest seemed to have delivered even in its unusual format, and made itself even more accessible than before by being entirely free!
Certified tough boy, get a look at this figurine fit for fighting in the 80’s. This post by animeheadsretroworld @ Animehead’s Retroworld is a pretty astute observation and one that balances character representation with figurine optimization. It was an interesting read, getting to see the box art and other details about the figurine kept me engaged.
I wonder why basketball players have such fun names, and I also wonder what K’s name is on the Kalendar today. I love tier lists even when they revolve around a subject I know too little to have preferences on, and I did learn enough about the Phoenix Suns from this series by K @ K at the Movies to maybe pass a trivia quiz about them. Not that such an occasion would ever arise.
Whew! I’m sorry for the long post. If you got through all of it and paid enough attention to attempt figuring out who did the ghostwriting and how many of the entries were ghostwritten, I am genuinely impressed.
Next month, we’re heading over to In Search of Number Nine with our host, Iniksbane! Hope you look forward to it.